The state of Sonora, in Northwestern Mexico, has taken action against “name abuse” (the practice of giving children outlandish names that encourage teasing and bullying) by banning 61 names and promising to expand the list as more harmful names come to their attention.
“It’s about protecting children,” said Cristina Ramirez, the director of Sonora’s Civil Registry. “We want to make sure children’s names don’t get them bullied in school.”
Here are some of the names banned in the state of Sonora as reported by Reuters:
Technology Names: Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Email
Fictional Names: Harry Potter, Rambo, James Bond, Terminator, Robocop
Medical Terms: Scrotum, Circumcision, Virgin
Brand Names: Burger King, Rolling Stone, USNAVY
Historical Names: like Hitler
Parents may be influenced by the “anything goes” style of baby-naming practiced by celebrities. But if you can’t afford to send your child to school in a chauffeur-driven limousine, accompanied by a bodyguard, picking an “outlandish” name for your child is like putting a “kick me” sign on his back before he gets picked up by school bus for another hellish day.
So let’s call the practice of giving children “funny” or “outrageous” or just plain “weird” names that are likely to embarrass your child and encourage teasing or bullying what it really is: name abuse. Cristina Ramirez put her finger on the problem: children’s “outlandish” names “can get them bullied.” By her choice of language it’s clear that this is a problem that parents needlessly inflict on their children.
What kind of parents do that? People who aren’t primarily concerned about their children’s welfare. The Baby Name Police prefers handing out tickets to parents who abuse their freedom of choice to banning names, but we think a “public scold” is needed to warn parents away from ridiculous names likely to embarrass children and subject them to teasing, harassment, and bullying.